The client who came to see us was under attack. As one of the world’s leading names in absorbent cleaning cloths, their niche range of anti-microbial wipes designed for sensitive medical applications was being threatened by a rival. Could we help to neutralise the danger?

We’d never wash our hands of such a challenge.

So we invited them to share their story. They told us that the competitor’s product outperformed theirs on absorbency, integrity and anti-microbial performance. That made it superior in just about every department.

We gulped, took a deep breath, then rolled up our sleeves.

There was no time to lose. We set up a project to develop an improved product, tailored to the demands of the medical sector. This could only be achieved by a bespoke manufacturer with the know-how to review both solutions, then generate a design which blended the very best features of each to create a product that wiped out the competition.

The Project

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Our innovative product design capabilities and competence in creating technical high-performance products for regulated markets was a good fit with the required specification:

  • Anti-microbial
  • Biodegradable
  • High adsorption
  • Rapid liquid uptake
  • Wet and dry integrity
  • Low lint and abrasion resistant
  • Cost-effective and disposable
  • Soft and conformable to handle
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Solution

A project plan was created with key deliverables to ensure each requirement was achieved within our structured product development programme.

  • We analysed both samples supplied by the customer and applied our knowledge of hygiene products to design a range of concepts based on biodegradable fibre technology and superabsorbent performance.
  • Different fibre blends were investigated and supplied to the customer to illustrate how the blend influenced absorbency, liquid uptake and retention.
  • Prototypes were made in a selection of densities based on customer feedback, allowing us to understand how the combined design inputs affected absorbency, handle and anti-microbial performance.
  • Conclusions were drawn from the prototypes as the design moved into maturity and we began in-house manufacturing trials to the customer’s chosen specification.
  • The product was stringently tested in-house to validation protocol to ensure all attributes were achieved before being supplied to an external body for accreditation and compliance prior to consumer testing.

Result

The customer was delighted that we were able to meet the feature-rich specification based on the supplied samples. What impressed them even more was that the product not only matched, but surpassed, the performance of anything else on the market.

The product was independently tested in focus groups by the customer. When compared with three other rival products (including that identified as a threat), our wipe came out on top. In fact, it was voted Best in Test by a country mile and massively outperformed the customer’s original solution.

The wipes have since been launched to great acclaim, with our client buying the nonwoven fabric in semi-finished roll-stock for slitting and packaging in house.